Saturday, April 29, 2006

Back to Life - let's start with the return of Woody Allen to usefulness

Previous posts will make it clear that I have been away from Toronto for some time (where my profile says I am based). I don't really like to follow the pattern of announcing on my weblog that I am about to go silent for x days because I will be elsewhere, as it seems an obvious sort of announcement to be farmed by burglars (yes I know I have done that to some small degree in the past).

I am now home again, and while on the Pacific Coast, living on something between Mountain and Central Time, I woke up one day last week and realized I had two hours during which my eyes would not close in any useful way, so I should pop on the coffeemaker in the hotel room and pick a movie available on the hotel room TV. Thursday morning I picked Woody Allen's 'Match Point'.

Over my life I have been an inordinate fan of many of his films. I liked the early funny ones. And I thought both "Hannah and her Sisters" and "Husbands and Wives" were extraordinary. As was "Crimes and Misdemeanours". Is there not that great word 'bittersweet'? Mixed with some horror.

"Match Point" was such a refreshing improvement from the recent films. A wonderful script, a beautifully chosen cast (I have one reservation to come), photography that made it clear how the world closed on the protagonist , and all sorts of entertaining allusions, as well as amusing indirections.

Only one thing stood in the way of my 'feeling' the fim, rather than just absorbing it primarily intellectually, albeit with great admiration and pleasure. It was the idea that Scarlett Johannson is a more compelling object of lust than Emily Mortimer. To make this work I think Allen has to assume most viewers have not seen the body examination requested in Lovely and Amazing. Well, OK, or may assume they don't have my views on this. Well, in the end, there is no real logic to those things.

UPDATE: The previous morning I watched 'Derailed' - it was surprisingly good, even when I assumed the major later plot twist from the first ten minutes of the film. The two films have one interesting structural factor in common, in that perpetrators of a crime wind up undetected.

UPDATE 2 : It seems from IMDB that the Johannson role was Kate Winslet's originally. Now that would have removed the separation of my emotions from my intellect nicely!


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